The word “holistic” comes from the term “holism”, which studies the reality as a whole rather than the sum of its component parts. When we mention a “holistic diet” we refer to a diet with a variety of nutrients necessary for your pet. Animal´s health, like people´s, depends heavily on an adequate nutrition, and considering your dog can´t take care of it, you are the only one responsible for it. If you want your dog to live with you for many years without constant diseases, lack of energy or behavior problems, you must provide a complete diet to him.
An alternative to make sure he gets a healthy and natural diet with high quality ingredients fit for human consumption, variety of nutrients and no chemical additives (such as preservatives, colorings or flavor enhancers), is to take the bull by the horns and preparing the food by yourself. This doesn´t mean feeding him with leftovers or boring him by giving him always the same, but doing your research on canine nutrition in order to choose the most appropriate food and cooking it by your own.
Which ingredients should be used when preparing home-cooked meal?
- As a carnivorous animal, the dog needs a diet with protein (chicken, beef, turkey, fish, liver and kidney). Cooking the meat is recommended.
- Carbohydrates (rice, pasta, oatmeal and baked potato).
- Minerals, vitamins and fatty acids (omega 3 and 6) in fruits and vegetables (such as carrots, broccoli, parsley, beets and blueberries), grated or cut into small pieces.
- When giving grains, these should be boiled and put through the food processor for easy digestion.
- Avoid giving him these condiments: spicy, chocolate, onions and garlic.
The following are some of the benefits claimed by the proponents of this feeding system:
- Hair and dental health.
- Strengthening of the immune system.
- Strong joints.
- High digestibility.
- Delay of cell aging.
- Visual health.
- Improved quality of life.
To ensure a diet that meets the specific needs of your dog (according to breed, size, age, type of activities carried out, health problems), you should consult with your veterinarian or nutritionist the number of calories, vitamins, proteins and other nutrients he needs. For example, the amount of meat that a dog can eat will depend on his age and health. Older dogs should eat fewer amounts because their metabolism and digestion is slower, and likewise dogs with liver problems. On the other hand, if your dog is used to dry kibble, introduce the homemade food in a slow fashion, increasing it daily while watching for possible allergic reactions to the ingredients you use.